Opposition evolves joint strategy on Indo-China conflict issue at meeting in parliament

Synopsis

Leaders of several opposition parties on Wednesday met in Parliament House complex and decided to take on the government unitedly on the India-China border issue and are likely to issue a joint statement.

Agencies

Leaders of several opposition parties on Wednesday met in Parliament House complex and decided to take on the government unitedly on the India-China border issue and are likely to issue a joint statement. Several opposition parties are seeking answers from the government on the Chinese transgressions along the border and moved adjournment notices in both houses of Parliament, demanding an urgent discussion on the issue.

Leaders of 17 opposition parties — the Congress, RJD, DMK, CPI, CPI-M, AAP, Samajwadi Party, JDU, NCP, Shiv Sena, Kerala Congress, National Conference, AIUDF, RLD, MDMK, VCK and KCM — met in the chamber of Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, and decided to corner the government on the border issue.

The TMC was, however, not present at the meeting.

It was decided to stage a walkout in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in case the government did not agree to their demand for an urgent discussion.

Leaders of the opposition parties also staged a walkout in both houses.

They also decided to issue a joint statement on the Chinese transgressions issue, but sounded a word of caution that the opposition should not sound lowering the moral of the armed forces.

Besides this, the leaders discussed important issues to be raised and formulated their joint future strategy in both houses of Parliament.

TMC party sources said Sudeep Bandyopadhyay was supposed to go for the opposition meeting, but could not attend due to his indisposition. TMC leaders had conveyed to other opposition leaders that they will be on board on the decision taken at the opposition meeting. The TMC members later walked out along with other opposition members in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

Sources said a decision was taken that a joint statement on behalf of the opposition parties would be issued on their demands instead of separate remarks made by leaders of various opposition parties.

The opposition leaders would be meeting in Parliament again on Thursday and will further plan on their strategy.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh had given a statement in both houses of Parliament on Tuesday saying Chinese troops tried to “unilaterally” change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Yangtse area of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector last week but the Indian Army compelled them to retreat by its “firm and resolute” response.

In similar statements in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Singh said there were “no fatalities” or serious injuries to the Indian soldiers and that the clash led to injuries to a few personnel on both sides.

The opposition leaders were, however, not allowed to seek any clarifications from the minister on the issue. Opposition leaders were upset for not allowing them an opportunity to seek clarifications on the issue, even as the chairman said the issue was sensitive and no clarifications can be allowed. The chair also cited several similar instances in the past.

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